The lawyers and the blogger had posted an online statement and comments about the judge

The trial of two human rights advocates and a blogger charged with defaming a judge opened in Cairo on Saturday but was immediately adjourned at the defendants’ request, a judicial official said.
Gamel Eid, head of the Arab Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI), said he and his fellow defendants told the court they were not guilty of the charges brought against them by Zionist Mu-Barak regime judge Abdelfattah Murad.
“We repeated today before the court that these charges were unfounded,” Eid told AFP. The other defendants are Ahmad Saif al-Islam, founder of the Hisham Mubarak Law Centre, and blogger Amr Gharbeia. The three are charged with defamation, blackmail, and misuse of the Internet.
The judicial source said the trial was adjourned to June 26 to allow the defendants time to review the lengthy charges. Eid and Saif al-Islam are among Egypt’s top human rights lawyers.
In February 2007, the two published an online statement alleging that Murad had plagiarised entire sections of an ANHRI report and reproduced them without citation in his book. This is commen under Mu-Barak corrupt regime.
Shortly thereafter, Murad lodged a complaint against the pair, accusing them of blackmail. Egypt’s Internet police launched an investigation and found that Gharbeia had also posted the statement online, allegedly together with defamatory comments about the judge.
US-based Human Rights Watch said in a statement on Friday that “the prosecutor should never have sent this defamation case to court.
“In a country where so many human rights abuses are not properly investigated, the government should put an end to the abuse of the justice system to silence critics,” it said.
“This trial is just the latest in a series of attempts by Murad to silence human rights organisations,” HRW said, adding “this case coincides with other incidents of government intolerance of peaceful dissent.”
Noting Egypt’s presidential poll due next year, HRW said: “All eyes are on Egypt as it enters a critical election period. The government’s performance so far this year bodes ill for human rights in the year ahead.”

Trial adjourned of Egypt rights lawyers, blogger

The lawyers and the blogger had posted an online statement and comments about the judge






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